iPod Mini: The End

I was at the Stanford hospital today for more tests about my usual health problem and it happens that this particular test takes up to 3 hours. So naturally, I got my first generation iPod Mini with me to help me pass the time easier. Well, the battery doesn’t last more than the 3-4 hours anymore (it’s supposed to last 8 hours). And that’s a big shame for several reasons: I own that iPod Mini only for 14 months, have never used it that much even if I really like it, and more importantly: I own over 9-10 accessories for it. If that iPod Mini goes busted what would I do with all these accessories? :(

Wish there was an easy way to either replace the battery or buy a second generation iPod Mini…

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Thom Holwerda wrote on May 5th, 2006 at 9:55 AM PST:

iPods suck. Get HiMD.

Sorry, I suffer from obsessive-compulsive-HiMD-promoting.


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Eugenia wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 1:13 AM PST:

>iPods suck.

iPods don’t suck. Apple does, for not making the battery replacement easy like PocketPC PDAs and phones do. With PocketPCs or phones, you just buy a replacement battery yourself, you replace the battery, and you are done. iPods are very popular here, so it would make sense for the consumer to be able to do that. It’s just that Apple is making lots of money replacing the batteries themselves (over $80 a pop for a kind of battery that actually doesn’t cost more than $30 in retail). It’s easy money for Apple.


vince wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 5:02 AM PST:

Having worked at Apple, I can tell you that a major part of their sales strategy is selling to existing customers by forcing them to upgrade. If you buy any Apple product, prepare to have it not be supported within 1 year of your purchase.

I was explictly told not to support an older machine there even though it was technically possible and insignifcantly more difficult to do so. (Just testing.) Instead, we released software that would not install on that machine.

In effect, they know you have a problem and their response will be something like ‘buy a nano’.


Thom Holwerda wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 5:29 AM PST:

I think Minidisc fans have some sort of diesase. :-)

Oh definitely. Shut up! No, you shut up! Voices… Voices… ;) .


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Eugenia wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 7:38 AM PST:

I wouldn’t mind buying a Nano. My problem is the accessories I have stacked up for the Mini which make an upgrade to the Nano not so sweet for me.


memson wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 8:31 AM PST:

Firstly, iPods have lithium ion batteries. Don’t keep it fully charged all the time. It is the kiss of death for battery life. If you leave it docked with the psu plugged in, you’re killing your battery. So many laptops go this way. People leave them plugged in all day and then wonder why the battery life goes down and finally dies with in 10 months or so.

Secondly, get a third party battery: you’ll void the waranty, but what is that really worth to Apple anyway. Installation is never fun, but a good battery will come with good instructions, the tool you need and also some have videos too.


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Eugenia wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 9:02 AM PST:

I don’t see why leaving a Li-ion battery on power would destroy it. I have a gazillion of devices here connected on power most of the time and use that sort of battery technology but only the iPod Mini has this problem.

I might get a battery from iPodBattery.com and try to upgrade it. We will see…


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Eugenia wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 9:10 AM PST:

And BTW, according to this guide: “you can also keep it [the iPod] stored in its cradle—there’s no danger of overcharging it.


David Adams wrote on May 6th, 2006 at 12:12 PM PST:

I think Minidisc fans have some sort of diesase. :-)


memson wrote on May 7th, 2006 at 9:08 AM PST:

You’re kidding me, right? Lithium batteries will degrade really quickly if left at 100% charge for extended periods. The safe limit is supposedly 80% – 40%. If you leave it fully charged all the time, the battery will die extremely quickly. Hence, you now have a fcuked battery.


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Eugenia wrote on May 7th, 2006 at 9:57 AM PST:

I am sorry, but you are wrong. This is from wikipedia article about Li-ion batteries:

Another advantage is that their lifespan remains relatively unaffected if they are kept “plugged in” after they have been fully charged. Other rechargeable batteries may degrade in these circumstances.

To me, all that just means that the iPod Mini battery was not a good battery, and given how many consumers were affected by this, it means that all the iPod Mini batteries are of lower quality than one would expect from the Li-Ion technology.


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Eugenia wrote on May 8th, 2006 at 4:44 AM PST:

I have my powerbook G4 on power 99% of the time. I have it now for 3.5 years and the battery has not being declined not even 2%. It is as fresh and full powered as it always being.

As for the iPod, I use it 3-4 times a month only. The rest of the time it usually sits on its cradle. That’s why I bought the damn cradle.


Thom Holwerda wrote on May 8th, 2006 at 10:58 AM PST:


The 100% charge phenomenon is a fact. It’s why so many corperate laptops have shitty battery life. Most sit on desks all day “charging” and might be used on battery in the evening, but essentially never discharge past, say, 90% before being back on power. This can kill a battery ruin the charge length of a battery in 6 months and completely kill it ( to say 15 – 30 mins ) in a year.

My iBook battery disagrees.


memson wrote on May 8th, 2006 at 12:46 PM PST:

“An iPod can also safely be attached to external power for extended periods of time. (For extremely extended periods of time, such as months, the battery will essentially be the same as if it were in “storage”; lithium ion batteries do not store well for extended periods of time at full charge. However, there is no way around this under these circumstances.)”

i.e. If the iPod is attached to power 24×7, it is as if “in storage”. Lithium Ion batteries kept at full charge for extended periods DIE FAR MORE QUICKLY than if used off mains power and charged frequently. Heat comes in to it as well – heat also kills L-ION more quickly, but a battery at 100% for extended periods (read days on end) will make the life time diminish extremely quickly. 18 months is not uncommon. Remembering that before the 18 months is up, the actual length of charge will also go down dramatically.

The 100% charge phenomenon is a fact. It’s why so many corperate laptops have shitty battery life. Most sit on desks all day “charging” and might be used on battery in the evening, but essentially never discharge past, say, 90% before being back on power. This can kill a battery ruin the charge length of a battery in 6 months and completely kill it ( to say 15 – 30 mins ) in a year.


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